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December 2nd, 2002

The Most Fuel Efficient Car Yet

Would you want a car that is only a few feet tall, seats two, and has a trunk that could hold one bag of groceries? Small groceries, at that? This car’s fuel capacity, by the way, is one liter.

But. It gets 239 miles per gallon.

It sounds like a very intriguing idea. While we’re sitting here getting a wimpy 52 mpg, Germans are working on something much more efficient. What? It’s not practical? Sure it’s not! But neither is parking an eight-foot-long box of solid metal.

It’s not a surprise to see companies other than American ones trying to do something about conserving fuel.

Posted in Cars

FROM: Marcus Mackey
DATE: Thursday December 5, 2002 -- 6:53:02 am
Fascinating Paul. The funniest thing is, in America we have a politician (not naming any names... his name is symbiotic with a small shrub) trying to find ways to increase our harvesting of natural resources, overturning environmental doctrinations "DESPITE" having heated arguments from environmentalists and yet...

Overseas, former World Rally and Paris-Dakar racer Ari Vatanen has resigned himself in retirement as a politician, "LOBBYING" hard for building energy efficient yet fun to drive transportation, and actually holding a racing event in Finland I believe (was in a past AutoWeek article) for small displacement cars, that pushed mileage and economy as event parameters. For those that consider racers to be the gearhead, bone-headed, non-caring, non-considerate, purveyor's of environmental destruction in the "excess", here's a case where someone from the racing world is lobbying for just the opposite.

It doesn't surprise me though. Coming from a state with the worst record of environmental windfalls, with a polluted city like Houston as "The Smog Capital" of the U.S., and mind you... it'd take 2-3 (OR MORE) of Texas's major cities combined to "MATCH" the population of Los Angeles, and yet... ::gasping:: We're heading in the right direction? If there was anyone that ever, and I mean "EVER" landed in a position of being in the right place, at the right time, to build solidarity behind his motives... I think Dubya has found it. What does it really take though to be passionate about your people's plight, especially when you are one of them feeling the same plight, in all of your militant demands? McCain could've blown this performance away, Gore could've done this (and better), and dare I say it... but Ralph Nader, definitely could've done "AT LEAST" this well. Yet favorable perceptions? I think it's people looking at things a bit too much with rose colored glasses and patriotism to look at the realities of the matter.

Yet what does it take to lobby and push to get the economy kickstarted, to be a true leader, and to not go against what you've preached in your pre-election agenda of "Avoiding International conflict, and work closer on the homefront", by doing the exact opposite? Hypocritical comes to mind, and in a big way.

239 miles per gallon is crazy (although... that'd be awesome for sure)... but the 80 mpg "Government Supercar" project by Clinton wasn't. The fact that Bush hasn't pursued further development of that plan or any environmental plans (even shying away from the European coalition who was hoping he'd join to help find a way towards improved conservation, right after he was elected) shows us all where his mind's at. Work extra hard at trying to find a way to get us all cheaper gas, to appease the Texaco's of his home state so they have more fossil fuels to burn for years to come. It all has a striking similarity to "Naked Gun 33 1/3"... which is spooky in it's total lack of comedy in the reality of things.

I agree, eight-foot long boxes of metal aren't what we need, and stuff like GM's Hybrid "NEEDS" the political push and lobbying, the financial support and development backing from our government, to "HELP" us all for the future. At the rate Bush's brethren's ways of thinking are going, it's going to push us into a second oil crisis further down the road where the Europeans dominate the auto market from research that America put off for far too long. Coming from a diehard racing fan, who also masquerades some as a racing journalist, even I'm not foolish to the future of things.

Practicality is only measured within the constraints of achievement Paul. The harder we strive, the more practical it becomes. To me the utmost of lacking practicality stems closer to something like a Ford Excursion, Chevy Suburban, Cadillac Escalade EXT, or Lincoln Navigator. Yet for every monstrousity in size lies potentials in conservation. After all, it's not the practicality of the size, it's what you produce in emissions and fuel expounded that makes the biggest difference. Judging by the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) numbers, they all have a bit more work to do...

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday December 5, 2002 -- 2:10:12 pm
Of course, Marcus, when I said, "eight-foot-long metal box" I really meant thirty. oops.

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